Viewing cable 03ANKARA2298
Title: TFIZ01: GOT AND TURKISH RED CRESCENT ATTEMPTING TO

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
03ANKARA22982003-04-09 13:05:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Ankara
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 002298 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
DEPT FOR PRM/ANE, EUR/SE, EUR/PRA AND NEA/NGA 
DEPT PASS USAID FOR BHA/OFDA - WGARVELINK AND FFP 
EUCOM FOR JE, JR, J5, SOJ7 AND POLAD 
GENEVA FOR RMA 
CENTCOM FOR J3, J5 AND POLAD 
KUWAIT FOR MDRO AND HOC 
 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/08/2008 
TAGS: EAID IZ MOPS PREF PREL TU
SUBJECT: TFIZ01: GOT AND TURKISH RED CRESCENT ATTEMPTING TO 
COORDINATE PLANNED AID FOR IRAQ WITH THE ICRC 
 
REF: ANKARA 2191 
 
 
¶1. (C) Summary:  MFA organized a meeting of Turkish Red 
Crescent (TRC), International Committee of the Red Cross and 
U.S. Embassy representatives to present and discuss a TRC 
proposal to send humanitarian supplies to Iraq and provide 
medical treatment in Turkey for injured Iraqis.  The proposal 
contemplates one convoy for northern Iraq and one for the 
south.  ICRC responded that TRC and its counterparts in 
front-line states must coordinate their assistance through 
ICRC.  End Summary. 
 
 
¶2. (SBU) MFA Deputy Director General for International 
Political Organizations Tunc Ugdul hosted a joint MFA - 
Turkish Red Crescent (TRC) - International Committee of the 
Red Cross (ICRC) - U.S. Embassy meeting on April 8 to discuss 
Turkey's plan, through its Red Crescent Society, to deliver 
humanitarian relief to Iraq.  TRC President Ertan Gonen, ICRC 
Regional Representative Finn Ruda, Econ Counselor and Mission 
Disaster Relief Officer attended the meeting. 
 
 
¶3. (C) Gonen stated that Turkey would like to send 
humanitarian supplies to both northern and southern Iraq and 
to offer medical treatment for war wounded in Turkish 
hospitals in Silopi, Diyarbakir and Ankara.  TRC contemplates 
one six-truck convoy for Basra (via Syria or Jordan) to 
deliver water and medicine, and another six-truck convey for 
the north (probably Erbil) to ship medicines and food.  TRC, 
working with the Anatolia Foundation NGO and Americare, would 
provide supplies and transport.  The municipality of Izmit, 
which received Iraqi aid following the 1999 Marmara 
earthquakes, is prepared to donate bottled water.  Gonen 
explained that, following donations from NATO allies and NGOs 
and given the lack of a refugee crisis on the Turkish 
frontier, Turkey has some surplus items which are urgently 
needed in Iraq.  Gonen said TRC staff were available to 
travel to Iraq to perform needs assessments.  He asked that 
the USG provide security for convoys. 
 
 
¶4. (C) Gonen and Ugdul stated that TRC wished to coordinate 
its efforts with the ICRC and emphasized that the GOT had no 
intention of making a unilateral aid delivery.  Ugdul stated 
that Turkey felt the need to reciprocate for Iraq's help 
following Turkey's earthquakes, and raised Turkey's interest 
in the well-being of Iraq's Turcoman minority (while 
emphasizing that Turkish aid would be made available to all 
in need regardless of ethnic origin).  Feza Ozturk, MFA 
Department Head for International Political Organizations, 
added that the Turkish authorities and TRC are under 
considerable political pressure to demonstrate to the public 
that they are responding to humanitarian needs in Iraq. 
 
 
¶5. (C) Ozturk pointed out that in the center and south, 
families had received advance rations of food through July, 
but that in the north, most families had received the 
equivalent of only a few weeks advance rations.  The World 
Food Program has requested MFA permission to ship food items, 
most recently for a shipment of 56,000 tons of commodities to 
be purchased in Turkey as well as imported from abroad, to 
northern Iraq for this reason.  Ozturk suggested that there 
is an inconsistency in the way Turkish Red Crescent and the 
NGOs are perceived outside Turkey in that TRC is required to 
coordinate its activities abroad with ICRC, while NGOs appear 
to be entitled to operate freely in Iraq. 
 
 
¶6. (SBU) Ruda responded that ICRC had to be careful to 
preserve neutrality and independence in order to be able to 
deliver emergency aid wherever it is needed in Iraq.  Noting 
recent incidents involving the Kuwaiti and United Arab 
Emirates' Societies, Ruda emphasized the security risks for 
societies operating independently of the ICRC, and stressed 
that ICRC would not sanction or assist with security for 
national societies which act unilaterally.  Noting that 
national societies and the ICRC had met April 6 in Abu Dhabi 
on these issues, Ruda stated that ICRC is interested in 
integrating aid from societies in neighboring states as the 
security situation permits.  He stated that the societies and 
ICRC agreed to establish an information link between the 
Iraqi and Syrian Red Crescent which would pass information on 
humanitarian needs to the other participants.  National 
societies should route any assistance through ICRC hubs in 
Damascus and Kuwait.  At the hubs, ICRC would coordinate with 
both the GOI and CENTCOM on the logistics of delivering the 
relief.  Goods would have to be reloaded to ICRC trucks.  In 
the future, the combatants may accept direct relief from 
national societies, but this is not now the case, said Ruda. 
Ruda stated that he would report Turkey's offer to ICRC 
headquarters, and that he had invited the ICRC's "Movement 
Coordinator" in Iraq to come to Turkey to discuss the Turkish 
proposal. 
 
 
¶7. (SBU) Ruda stated that, while gaps in medical supplies 
were beginning to appear, the food situation was largely in 
hand.  ICRC had still not used up its prepositioned stocks of 
medicines, including materials for 7,000 war wounded.  He 
implied that the humanitarian situation was not so urgent as 
to obviate the requirement to properly coordinate relief from 
national societies through ICRC. 
 
 
¶8. (SBU) Econ Counselor welcomed Turkey's offer to provide 
assistance, but agreed that relief shipments needed to be 
properly coordinated.  He said he would report Turkey's offer 
to the Department and to CENTCOM, but cautioned that the U.S. 
military was not likely to be able to provide direct security 
for TRC convoys. 
 
 
Comment and Action Request 
-------------------------- 
 
 
¶9. (C) Embassy believes that Turkey's offer is largely 
motivated by domestic political considerations and the fact 
that a displaced persons emergency on or near Turkey's border 
has not materialized.  The GOT and TRC have already begun to 
return staff which had been deployed to crisis centers in 
Diyarbakir back to Ankara.  Embassy would appreciate 
Washington guidance, as requested reftel, as to whether and 
how the U.S. military will restrict and/or coordinate NGO 
access and/or activities in northern Iraq. 
PEARSON